Take a Giant Step

Louis Peterson (playwright)
Louis Gossett, Maxine Sullivan, Estelle Hemsley, Frederick O'Neal (starring)

N.p. John Erwin, 1953. Two vintage oversize double weight photographs from the premiere of the 1953 play. Both photos feature a very young Louis Gossett (who later changed his stage name to Louis Gossett, Jr.), and one features African American actress and singer Maxine Sullivan. Both photos credit photographer John Erwin and the Lyceum Theatre in New York, as well as producers Thomas Noyes and Lyn Austin. One photo has its credits etched on the white margin at the bottom (from the negative), the other with more formal printed credits.

The first play on Broadway to have been written by an African American playwright. Louis Peterson made his breakthrough with the play, about the challenges of a black youth growing up in a white neighborhood. Louis Gossett, in the lead role, was still in high school at the time. Frederick O'Neal, co-founder of the American Negro Theatre, also starred in the play. It was adapted to the screen by Peterson in 1959.

The play ran for eight weeks at the Lyceum Theatre, and was revived in 1954 off-Broadway for another 246 performances. In 1991, "Jump Cut" magazine reassessed the play (and subsequent screenplay), calling it a pioneering work.

11 x 14 inches. Near Fine.

[Book #136873]